Police At #OccupyDenver Turn Violent

Update 11:46 AM Mountain Time:

A candle light vigil being held to denounce violence.

Update 11:37 AM Mountain Time:

Awaiting confirmation.

Original Post:

At Saturday night’s Occupy Denver protest, police fired pepper spray and pepper balls. 20 protesters were arrested and several were sent to the hospital. One man was shot in the face with pepper bullets. Another had his foot run over by a motorcycle cop.

“They pepper sprayed me and I fell and then went to pour water on my face,” says Phillip Becerra, who returned to the area later in the night. “When I got back up, I was shot in the face. I had to go to the hospital to have the wound treated.”

Westword Newspaper reports:

By 9 p.m., more police officers than protesters remained in the area, and a group of Hare Krishna followers, who had been dancing and singing during the heated events, served vegan food to those who remained. The situation died down quickly once the area was cleared of tents, the Thunderdome and the welcome area, and protesters organized the remaining salvageable items in addition to their belongings. Much of the material for the Thunderdome and the front desk was placed directly into a Public Works truck brought in to dispose of waste.

“The entire situation adds attention to our cause and gives us a voice in all of this,” says protester Westword profile subject Matthew Velasquez says. “The tension here today was incredible, and it’s not going away anytime soon. We’re not going away.”

This video shows police with riot gear and assault rifles.